When it comes to summer cakes, shortcake definitely comes to mind. Growing up, we always made strawberry shortcake when the weather was hot and berries were super ripe. Back then, my mother would usually make shortcakes with Bisquick Baking Mix – it wasn’t just for pancakes. The preparation was very simple, add eggs and milk (I think), but not any easier than mixing together your own flour, baking powder and salt – it was just what people were using. The light fluffy cakes always seemed to turn out perfectly, and even more delightful when filled with freshly whipped cream and berries.
For me, shortcakes can be any type of cake, small or large, that you fill with seasonal ingredients. In this recipe, I made more of a traditional tiered cake loaded with light and fruity flavors. I love the look of a three-layered dessert, there’s something that says, “Wow” about it, and the crumb is elegantly tender, easily layerable with cream and berries.
The cream is a quick whip with a bit of mascarpone cheese added for a hint of tang – just another layer of yum! Blueberries tend to be my favorite berry, and especially during this time of the year when they pop with sweetness, and give this shortcake a berrylicious finish.
This dessert can be served at any occasion – birthdays, graduations, 4th of July, or for dessert after dinner with a large group of friends. I made it for my step-dad’s 87th birthday – it was a nice surprise!
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar + more for dusting berries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup half & half
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces mascarpone cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 – 8-inch cake pans. In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, and add eggs and vanilla. Mix on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix on low for 30 seconds. Add yogurt and milk, while mixer is running on low until just combined.
2. Remove bowl and scrape down sides. Spoon equally into prepared pans and smooth out surfaces. Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean. Remove and let cool 20 minutes.
3. With table knife, loosen around perimeter and invert onto rack to cool completely. When ready to frost – in a stand mixer, whip cream on high until soft peaks. Add mascarpone cream, sugar and vanilla, continue to whip for 30 seconds. Do not over whip!
4. Place first cake layer on cake stand or plate, and layer with 1/3 of cream. Top with 1 cup blueberries, press berries into cream gently. Add second layer and more cream, and berries. Top with third layer and spread with cream and last 1/2 cup berries on top. Sprinkle berries with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Store in the refrigerator, until ready to slice. Enjoy!